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Biden wanders off stage after spotting baby in crowd at Arizona campaign event: ‘Couldn’t resist’

US President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at the Washoe Democratic Party Office in Reno, Nevada, March 19, 2024. Biden travels to Nevada, Arizona and Texas on a three-day campaign trip. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) US-VOTE-POLITICS-BIDEN

“Well, folks, I have to tell you straight up,” the 81-year-old president told his supporters after venturing back on-stage.

“I like you all, but I couldn’t resist that little baby.”

Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez – the granddaughter of labor icon César Chávez – was about a minute into her brief opening remarks when the president bolted from the stage.

Biden continued to sit in the booth next to the mother holding her infant through the entirety of Chávez Rodríguez’s remarks and the next speaker’s speech.

“How old?” Biden appeared to ask the mom, as he chatted her and the baby up during his introduction.

Biden, who has seven grandchildren – though he rarely acknowledges the existence of first son Hunter Biden’s out-of-wedlock child with former stripper Lunden Roberts –  has previously declared that he likes “babies better than people.”

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Last year in Finland, the president playfully nibbled on the shoulder of a little girl who recoiled as Biden attempted to give her a smooch on the temple.

Tuesday’s event at a Phoenix Mexican restaurant marked the beginning of the Biden campaign’s efforts to reach Hispanic voters – a key Democratic voting bloc that the president is losing the support of.

Former President Donald Trump leads Biden among Hispanic voters 39% to 34%, according to a  USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll released in January.

Tuesday’s event at a Phoenix Mexican restaurant marked the beginning of the Biden campaign’s efforts to reach Hispanic voters – a key Democratic voting bloc that the president is losing the support of.

A New York Times/Siena College Poll released in February also found Biden losing the Hispanic vote to Trump, 40% to 46%.

“He only cares about the wealthy,” Biden said of Trump at the event.

Arizona Democratic Party chairwoman Yolanda Bejarano attributed the 77-year-old former president’s popularity among Hispanics to his ability to be entertaining.

“People like to be entertained and sometimes Donald Trump, what he does, it provides that entertainment,” she told reporters after the event.

“People like laugh at his rallies, you know, it’s like they’re going to a circus. They’re listening to him just joke about things — very, very serious things and we just need to be very, very focused and you know, make sure that Latinos understand exactly who Donald Trump is and what a danger he presents to us.”

Trump leads Biden in Arizona by 5.2 percentage points, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Biden defeated Trump in the state back in 2020.

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